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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Contact:Heidi P. Guarino 781-338-3106

Class of 2008 Outpacing All Previous Classes on MCAS Performance

MALDEN - Students in the Class of 2008 are outpacing their older peers on the MCAS exam, with more students than ever before earning their competency determination after just two tries, education officials announced on Wednesday.

According to a new Department of Education report, 89 percent of students in the class of 2008 – this year's junior class - have already passed both the English Language Arts and Math MCAS exams, meeting the state's requirement to earn a high school diploma. Students in this class were first tested as sophomores the spring of 2006, and those who did not pass one or both exams were eligible to participate in the November 2006 retest.

Eighty-seven percent of the classes of 2006 and 2007 had earned their CDs after one retest, as had 84 percent of the students in the classes of 2004 and 2005, and 76 percent of the class of 2003.

Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll hailed the students' achievement, but noted that students need to aim for more than just a passing score.

"We are very pleased to see our numbers go up year after year, but recognize that in order to succeed outside of high school students need to strive for even higher academic goals," said Education Commissioner David P. Driscoll. "Moving forward our focus has to be on encouraging students to not just pass, but to aim for proficiency and beyond."

The November retest was the fourth testing opportunity for students in the class of 2007, this year's senior class. Results show that 94 percent of students in that class have now earned their CDs, outpacing all previous classes: After four testing opportunities 93 percent of the class of 2006 had earned their CDs, as had 92 percent of the class of 2005, 93 percent of the class of 2004 and 90 percent of the class of 2003.

Results for the Class of 2007 show:

  • 64,707 students out of the total enrollment of 69,118 have already earned their CD.
  • With the exception of Limited English Proficient (LEP) and formerly LEP students, at least 75 percent of students from every other subgroup have earned their CD. This includes 75 percent of students with disabilities, 87 percent of low-income students, 82 percent of African-American students, 83 percent of Hispanic students, and 96 percent of white students.
  • Sixty percent of LEP students and 70 percent of students who were identified as Limited English Proficient at any time in the past 3 school years have earned their CD.
  • Of the students who have not yet earned their CD, 3 percent have passed neither test, 2 percent have only passed English and 1 percent has only passed math.

Results for the Class of 2008 show:

  • 65,800 students out of the total class enrollment of 73,964 have already earned their CDs. This means that more students in the Class of 2008 have earned their CD after two attempts than students in the Class of 2007 did after four tries. Enrollment data shows that the class of 2008 is several thousand students larger than the class of 2007.
  • With the exception of LEP and Formerly LEP students, more than 67 percent of all students have already earned their CD. This includes: 67 percent of students with disabilities, 77 percent of Low Income students, 75 percent of Black students, 71 percent of Hispanic students and 93 percent of White students.
  • Forty-five percent of LEP and 55 percent of students who were identified as LEP at any time in the past 3 school years have earned their CD.
  • Students from suburban communities are outpacing their peers from urban districts: 93 percent of non-urban students have earned their CDs, as compared to 76 percent of students from urban districts.
  • Of those who have not yet earned their CD, 5 percent have not passed either test, 5 percent have passed English only and one percent has passed only the Math exam.

Students are first tested as sophomores, but have four retest opportunities before the end of their senior year. Those who do not pass before the end of their senior year are eligible for a Certificate of Attainment if they meet their local requirements for graduation, and are encouraged to return to take as many retests as needed to earn their diploma.

To view the full report and to review school and district results, look online at www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/results.



Last Updated: March 7, 2007
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